A SILENT TRIB­UTE TO THOSE WHO FELL IN BAT­TLE

Wales On Sunday - - NEWS - NINO WIL­LIAMS Re­porter news­[email protected]­line.co.uk

THIS was the mo­ment Wales rugby stars, and their fans, paid an im­pec­ca­ble trib­ute to those who fought and died dur­ing World War I. Not a whis­per could be heard dur­ing the two-minute si­lence be­fore the match against Aus­tralia, which was ob­served by ev­ery sin­gle one of the 70,000 fans who watched the match in­side the Prin­ci­pal­ity Sta­dium.

Cap­tain Alun Wyn Jones, and his Aus­tralian coun­ter­part Michael Hooper, led the teams out with poppy wreaths as the na­tional side joined in com­mem­o­ra­tive events across the coun­try to mark 100 years since the guns of war fell silent in 1918.

It was one of a se­ries of trib­utes paid by Welsh rugby, on a day in which they proved vic­to­ri­ous over op­po­si­tion they haven’t beaten for 10 years, which in­cluded Tommy sil­hou­ettes “guard­ing” the play­ers’ tun­nel for the clash against the Wal­la­bies.

There were a fur­ther 13 smaller Per­spex ver­sions, fea­tur­ing the names of the 13 Wales in­ter­na­tion­als who lost their lives dur­ing the con­flict.

The marks of re­mem­brance came ahead of Ar­mistice Sun­day to­day, which will see countless memo­ri­als across the UK and abroad, to hon­our the lives of those who paid the ul­ti­mate price.

Across Wales, venues and in­di­vid­u­als also made their own trib­utes.

The Senedd in Cardiff has been lit up with a poppy me­mo­rial, while the Arch­bishop of Wales has urged churches to join the ring­ing of bells for peace to­day – just as peo­ple did spon­ta­neously a cen­tury ago when news of the ar­mistice spread across the coun­try.

And just like in Cardiff, sil­hou­ettes of Bri­tish Tom­mies have been po­si­tioned in lo­ca­tions across the coun­try.

Margam Cas­tle has also been be­decked with pop­pies, with a World War I theme to its first-ever flower fes­ti­val, and min­is­ter for the en­vi­ron­ment Han­nah Blythyn has an­nounced a new tree plant­ing project to mark 100 years since the end of tWorld War I.

The Royal Bri­tish Le­gion, the armed forces char­ity be­hind the Poppy Ap­peal, has cre­ated Fields of Re­mem­brance across six UK lo­ca­tions, in­clud­ing Cardiff.

Ar­mistice day will see fur­ther trib­utes to the fallen tak­ing place right across Wales.

In ad­di­tion to wreath-lay­ing cer­e­monies from An­gle­sey to Newport, beaches in Wales will take part in a UK-wide trib­ute by Os­car-win­ning di­rec­tor Danny Boyle.

The movie-maker, who was also be­hind the Olympics open­ing cer­e­mony in Lon­don in 2012, is co-or­di­nat­ing Pages Of The Sea – the com­mis­sion for 14-18 NOW to mark the cen­te­nary of Ar­mistice Day.

The event in­vites peo­ple to gather on se­lected beaches in an in­for­mal, na­tion­wide ges­ture of re­mem­brance for the men and women who left their home shores dur­ing World War I, where mil­lions of peo­ple served and many left by sea.

Among them are Swansea Beach and Broad Haven in Pem­brokeshire.

The cho­sen beaches will each fea­ture the draw­ing of a large-scale por­trait of a ca­su­alty from World War I, de­signed by sand artists Sand In Your Eye, which will be washed away as the tide comes in.

The pub­lic will also be asked to join in by cre­at­ing sil­hou­ettes of peo­ple in the sand, re­mem­ber­ing the lives lost or changed for­ever by the con­flict.

The amaz­ing flo­ral dis­plays at Margam Park Cas­tle, as part of the Lest We For­get event, which has seen the cas­tle filled with pop­pies and other flo­ral ar­range­ments

Danny Boyle’s UK-wide com­mis­sion, Pages of the Sea, will mark the cen­te­nary of Ar­mistice Day to­day

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